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Five-figure bill after HMO deemed to put tenants' lives at risk

A Norwich landlord has been prosecuted “for putting lives at risk” according to the local council. 

Piang Fui Pun has pleaded guilty to 13 charges regarding safety concerns at a unlicensed HMO. He received fines totaling £5,500 and was ordered to pay costs of £4,600 and a £175 victim surcharge.

Norwich magistrates’ court heard that he had failed to provide housing officers with safety certificates for electrical and gas installations at the property and did not provide evidence that the fire doors were appropriately maintained.

The magistrate stated that had a fire occurred at the premises which caused any harm to the inhabitants, then Pun could well have faced more serious charges.

Concerns with housing conditions were first raised with council officers following a visit by police in February, which established the property was being used to accommodate employees of the landlord’s business.

A subsequent visit conducted by housing officers discovered serious defects with the fire doors and electrical installations, as well as broken windows and inadequate lighting. As a large HMO, a licence to operate was also required.

Officers returned in May and found whilst the fire doors had been rectified, many of the other defects had not. Appropriate certification could still not be provided and no attempt had been made by the owner to licence the property with the council.

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